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Gallantry Awards of India

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After the Independence, the Government of India decided to commemorate the courage and sacrifice our Armed Forces showed in the independence struggle. The Government of India instituted the first three gallantry awards of India namely Param Veer Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, and Vir Chakra.

Thereafter three more Gallantry Awards of Indiaswere instituted i.e. Ashoka Chakra Class-1, Ashoka Chakra Class-2, and Ashoka Chakra Class-3 later these awards were renamed Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra, and Shaurya Chakra.

These awards are announced twice a year First on the occasion of Republic Day and then on the occasion of Independence Day. The order of precedence of the awards is the Param Vir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra, and the Shaurya Chakra.

Let us discuss these awards one by one:

WARTIME GALLANTRY AWARD

The PARAM VIR CHAKRA (PVC)

This medal is circular and is made up of bronze, embroidered with four replicas of “Indra’s Vajra” with our national emblem in the center. On the reverse side, it shall be embroidered with “PARAM VIR CHAKRA” in both English and Hindi with two lotus flowers between the inscriptions. A purple ribbon, 32 millimeters long, holds the Param Vir Chakra. It is worn on the left chest.

Gallantry Awards of India

The PARAM VIR CHAKRA (PVC) is India’s highest military decoration, awarded for displaying eminent acts of valor during wartime. Param Vir Chakra is also known as the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”, and the award is granted for “most conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy”. 

MAHA VIR CHAKRA (MVC)

The medal is made up of silver and is circular. A five-pointed star is molded with a circular centerpiece bearing the state emblem of India in the center. The words “Mahavira Chakra” are embossed in Hindi and English and on the reverse of the medal with two lotus flowers in the middle. The decoration is worn on the left chest with a half-white and half-orange ribbon about 3.2 cm in width, the orange being near the left shoulder.

Gallantry Awards of India

The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India after the Param Vir Chakra and is awarded for acts of Gallantry Awards of India in the presence of the enemy, on land, at sea, or in the air. The medal may be awarded posthumously.

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VIR CHAKRA(VC)

The VIR CHAKRA is circular and has a silver medal. The medal has a five-pointed star, with the chakra, and a domed gilded state emblem in the center. The decoration is named and dated on the other side of the medal and, two legends are separated by lotus flowers with Vir Chakra in both Hindi above and in English below. The ribbon is 32 mm, half dark blue and half orange-saffron.

The Vir Chakra is presented for acts of gallantry on the battlefield, on land, in the air or at sea. It is third in precedence in wartime gallantry awards and comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Mahavir Chakra

PEACETIME GALLANTRY AWARD

ASHOKA CHAKRA

The Ashoka Chakra is circular and made up of gold. In the center, the chakra of Ashoka is surrounded by a lotus wreath with an ornate edge. The medal is named on the edge. On the reverse side, The Ashoka chakra is engraved in Hindi on the upper side of the medal and in English on the lower side of the medal. The ribbon is 32 mm wide and of dark green color with a 2 mm central saffron stripe.

Gallantry Award

The Ashoka Chakra is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action, or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. This award is equivalent to the Param Vir Chakra(PVC) and is awarded for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valor or self-sacrifice” other than facing the enemy. The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel.

KIRTI CHAKRA

The Kirti Chakra is circular and made of standard silver, the medal shall be carved as a replica of the Ashoka Chakra in the center, surrounded by a lotus wreath. On the reverse side, the words KIRTI CHAKRA are written in both Hindi and English the versions being separated by two lotus flowers. The ribbon is 30 mm wide in dark green color with two 2 mm saffron stripes.

Gallantry Awards of India

The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action, or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It may be awarded to civilians and military personnel, including posthumous awards. This award is equivalent to the Maha Vir Chakra in peacetime. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards, coming after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra. The award was earlier known as the Ashoka Chakra Class-2.

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SHAURYA CHAKRA

The medal is circular and made up of kaansy(bronze). The Ashoka Chakra is at the centre surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge. On the reverse side, the medal is blank in the center, with “Ashoka Chakra” written in Hindi along the upper edge of the medal and the same in English along the lower rim. The ribbon is Green in colour which is divided into four equal parts by three orange vertical lines.

Gallantry Awards

The Shaurya Chakra is an Indian Military awarded for valor and courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy. It is awarded to military personnel but may also be awarded to civilians, sometimes posthumously. It is third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards and comes after the Ashoka Chakra and the Kirti Chakra.

Himanshu Srivastava
Defence Enthuthiast
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